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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I have an open civil suit against another individual who took

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I have an open civil suit against another individual who took a trailer ($3800) and a Harley Davidson ($18,000) from me in Aug. 2011. (We were a couple, he was going to move to Dallas with me, asked me ring size, etc... I bought the bike and put it in both our names, but I was to be the primary owner. Unknown to me, the defendant had the sales man list him as the primary owner of the bike. They knew each other. Along with my civil suit, a writ of sequestration has been ordered for the trailer and the bike. The trailer has been seized. Which I really don't care about. The bike is what I want. My Grandmother bought it, with cash. After we picked the bike up, he dumped less than a week later. Now, I've known that he's been keeping the bike in a body shop where he works in a town about 30 miles from his home. The police have been looking for him but can't find him. I learned this morning that he actually MOVED to the county where he works and where he's hiding the bike.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Q: My question is, can the police go to the owner of the shop and have him open it up and let them look to see if the bike is inside?

A: The police can certainly ask the owner. However, if the owner refuses, then the police would need a warrant to force the owner to open the shop. In order to get a warrant, the police would need probable cause that the bike is being kept inside. In order to prove probable cause, the police need some sort of evidence indicating that the bike may be there. A hunch isn't good enough since the police can't enter private property fishing for evidence of a crime. You stated that you believe that the bike is in the shop, so I assume that you have good reason to believe it and you're not just guessing. If you do have such evidence, then I would give that evidence to the police and ask them to get a warrant based on that evidence. Of course, nothing is stopping the police from asking the owner to cooperate. If the owner agrees, then a warrant is unnecessary.

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